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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Religion Westward Bent

By George Herbert (1593–1633)

RELIGION stands on tip-toe in our land,

Readie to passe to the American strand.

When height of malice, and prodigious lusts,

Impudent sinning, witchcrafts, and distrusts,

(The marks of future bane,) shall fill our cup

Unto the brimme, and make our measure up;

When Sein shall swallow Tiber, and the Thames

By letting in them both, pollutes her streams:

When Italie of us shall have her will,

And all her calender of sinnes fulfill;

Whereby one may foretell, what sinnes next years

Shall both in France and England domineer:

Then shall Religion to America flee:

They have their times of Gospel, ev’n as we.

My God, thou dost prepare for them a way,

By carrying first their gold from them away:

For gold and grace did never yet agree:

Religion alwaies sides with povertie.

We think we rob them, but we think amisse:

We are more poore, and they more rich by this.

Thou wilt revenge their quarrell, making grace

To pay our debts, and leave our ancient place

To go to them, while that, which now their nation

But lends to us, shall be our desolation.

Yet as the Church shall thither westward flie,

So Sinne shall trace and dog her instantly:

They have their period also and set times

Both for their vertuous actions and their crimes.